Digitizing sponsorAmerican Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California
In May 1960, students and progressive activists opposed to the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) demonstrated when HUAC held hearings in San Francisco's City Hall. San Francisco police turned firehoses on the demonstrators, washing them down the main staircase of City Hall, and the resultant publicity did much to engender the social consciousness of the 1960s. HUAC sympathizers produced a film, "Operation Abolition," condemning the demonstrators as Communist-inspired activists. The ACLU produced this film as a rejoinder to and critique of "Operation Abolition," incorporating many of its sequences and disputing its distortions.
June 8, 2007 Subject:
America's favorite whipping boy
Interesting. Although stylistically it certainly look like it, this isn't actually propaganda. It is a response to a specific government report & film that are fully referenced in case you dispute the premise & want to check it out yourself. The narrator addresses specific distortions of facts that can be checked--dates, times, etc.--rather than making sweeping generalizations about ethical oppositions. Propaganda--by definition--only promotes one side of a philosophical debate.
I don't think it is at all "impossible to gauge who's right in all this". There's certainly a knee-jerk reaction to anything the ACLU does. You'd think any red-blooded, red-necked American would support them whole-heartedly, since their ONLY purpose is to defend the US Constitution. I guess it's hard to see past the fact that their clients are invariably scumbags, hippies, fringe & reprobates [since no one gets away with setting legal precedents by trampling on the civil rights of Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey].
Even if you hate the ACLU, it seems to me that history has spoken pretty clearly. The HUAC was an American dalliance with fascism that was finally swept away as the garbage it was due to the self-sacrifice of people like the protesters in this film.
December 9, 2003 Subject:
He Said You Said
Quite an interesting historical piece narrated by a ACLU spokesperson (with a single piece of paper) about the hosing down of people as they were protesting the HUAC meetings in San Fransisco in 1960. The goverment made a film calling the protesters 'communists'. The ACLU has responded, and made this film, attempting to refute the claims made by the government.
Although it's next to impossible to gauge who's right in all of this, it's quite interesting to see the ACLU point fingers at the government for making a biased film, when they're making one themselves. No doubt edited down to make the ACLU look good, it's also interesting to note how the ACLU distances themselves from certain individuals they themselves see as 'Communists'. I mean, how ACLU is that?